Rest Up Paul Perkins, Bolu and Soso Got This!


The UCLA Football team has been blessed with depth and talent at the running back position, which is a good thing to have in light of the recent injuries to Paul Perkins (and Nate Starks).

I am no football coach. I am just a casual observer of the game, especially regarding UCLA. With that it is my opinion that junior running back and Pac-12 rushing leader from a year ago, Paul Perkins, should sit the Bruins next game out.

RELATED: Paul Perkins Injury Is Not Severe

I have no idea how severe Perkins’ injury is, though we know it is not serious. After an MRI, it was confirmed that he has no ligament damage in his knee and could simply be a “bone bruise”. That is good news in a sense, but it is still an injury.

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Like every Bruin fan, when I saw Perkins hit the grass last Thursday after a short red zone run and stay on the Rose Bowl floor, I thought, “No! Not Perkins!” Especially after all the injuries the Bruins have sustained this season (and are already down an RB as Nate Starks currently has a head injury) this was not a good sight.

The good news is that it is not severe, though Head Coach Jim Mora is staying quiet on how bad his injury, as well as all the other recent injuries on the Bruins, really are.

With that I say, “Take the Colorado game off, Paul Perkins! True freshmen Bolu Olorunfunmi and Soso Jamabo got this one.”

Now Perkins might be ready for Colorado, but if there are any lingering effects, it might be a good thing for him to sit and chill for another week and I have two reasons for this…

1. Colorado has the worst rushing defense in the conference  (worse than UCLA who is 11th in the conference).

2. Olorunfunmi and Jamabo have proven they can handle themselves in the Bruin’s offense and the added experience will only benefit them.

Hitting on my first point, with solid offensive line play and the cannon that is the arm of QB Josh Rosen spreading the ball around, that should continue to open up UCLA’s run game which should have no problem cutting up the Buffaloes who are giving up 209.5 ypg.

If Perkins does sit this game out, there is no doubt Rosen will be called upon a little bit more, but the Bruins should not go away from the run game which has been very effective this season. Keep the same game plan and just plug in Olorunfunmi and Jamabo. It worked in the second half against Cal.

Sep 26, 2015; Tucson, AZ, USA; UCLA Bruins running back Soso Jamabo (1) runs the ball during the second quarter against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Last Thursday, Jamabo had 18 carries for 79 yards with 1 TD and 1 fumble. Yes, that fumble hurt and we could call it a freshman mistake, but it does not take away from the fact that Jamabo held his own in the run game while Perkins was out.

Olorunfunmi also participated, but in a lesser role. He only had 17 yards on 8 carries, but that is not a good sample size for what he has done this season. On the year he has 177 yards, averaging 5.9 ypc.

Jamabo is also averaging 5.9 ypc, though he has run for a total of 278 yards this season and added 2 touchdowns.

MORE: Is The Colorado Game A Trap?

For me, especially going up against the poor Colorado rush defense, I would not mind having Olorunfunmi and Jamabo handle the rock and give Perkins a rest so that he is fully healed for the end of the season, which includes road games at Utah and USC.

Still, that is not my call. If Perkins is good to go for Colorado, I would not mind watching him carve up another Pac-12 opponent. Either way, the UCLA running game should continue to be strong in what will most likely be a Bruin win.

Still, the way this season has been going with injuries, I would not mind if every bruise the Bruins sustain be completely healed as the Bruins try to make a run at the Pac-12 South in their final five regular season games.

Next: UCLA at Oregon State Kickoff Announced

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